ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2018 Apr 20;10(13):10860-10869. Epub 2018 Mar 20.
Department of Chemistry and BINA (BIU Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials) , Bar Ilan University , Ramat-Gan 5290002 , Israel.
Using UV-vis spectroscopy in conjunction with various electrochemical techniques, we have developed a new effective operando methodology for investigating the oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) and their mechanisms in nonaqueous solutions. We can follow the in situ formation and presence of superoxide moieties during ORR as a function of solvent, cations, anions, and additives in the solution. Thus, using operando UV-vis spectroscopy, we found evidence for the formation of superoxide radical anions during oxygen reduction in LiTFSI/diglyme electrolyte solutions. Nitro blue tetrazolium (NBT) was used to indicate the presence of superoxide moieties based on its unique spectral response. Indeed, the spectral response of NBT containing solutions undergoing ORR could provide a direct indication for the level of association of the Li cations with the electrolyte anions.